11/20/2006, 00.00
IRAN
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Iranian diplomacy versus international respect for human rights

by Dariush Mirzai
Failing to find allies in international fora, Tehran counterattacks to avoid being charged with the repression and discrimination it practices.

Tehran (AsiaNews) – High stake poker is nothing new in Iran's nuclear diplomacy, but when it comes to other multilateral issues such as human rights Iran is sometimes all alone.  Indeed, this great Mideast country might have 15 neighbours but surely has no friends. What better proof than the fact that, unlike Jordan, Sri Lanka and Qatar, it failed to get its candidate elected to the UN International law Commission in New York.

Even worse fate for the Islamic Republic when its planned resolution against Canada in the General Assembly's Third Committee (on social, humanitarian and cultural affairs) got nowhere: no single member state backed it.

In its draft resolution on the situation of indigenous peoples and immigrants in Canada, Iran criticised Canada's policies vis-à-vis women, prisoners, African Canadians and other groups.

The move is clearly designed to counter Canada's draft resolution on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic which it recently tabled as it had done in the previous years.

This time however Iran might be able to stop Canada's resolution. Last year a motion of non- action fell short by a few votes before it had the effect of killing the resolution. China is well-known for successfully using this procedure. And this year there may be enough votes from developing countries, often criticised for human rights violations themselves, who might back Iran's mullah's regime against the West.

Unfortunately, the creation of the Human Rights Council in Geneva has not stopped the politicisation of human rights. And Iran's President Ahmadinejad has not shied away from using issues about justice and Islamophobia as propaganda tools to avoid the spotlight for his regime's increasing repression and discrimination following his summer 2005 election.

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